What to Pack For an Extended Trip

In preparing for our around the world trip (covered in detail the blog Nomads in Asia), we had to think long and hard about reducing everything we’ll need to use for about a year to two backpacks. I’ve read a couple of great lists on the subjects of what to pack including and thought that it’d be useful to share ours. Other than cloths, these are the items we’ve started with

Travel list

  • Netbook: After a lot of research, we settled on the Samsung N110, as it had the best (5-8 hours) battery life and video Memory. The machine has worked really well after a $20 2 gig RAM update. The only time when the Atom CPU has not been able to keep up with my regular computer has been video editing. The only criticism is that the screen still pales to a 15inch monitor, which is why I would consider the Acer for future travels, even though it weighs a little more.
  • 2 4gig USB Cards. We will use Firefox and chrome off these USB’s in internet cafes to further secure our data.
  • External hard drive – I’m partial to Western Digital, but had a larger Toshiba lying around at work.
  • 1 DSLR and 1 Point and shoot camera. After breaking 2 Cannons in 2 years, we’ve gone with unconventional with the choice of Olympus models for these devices. We’ve had these cameras for almost 4 months and so far they’ve been great. The Olympus point and shoot had a problem with the original battery, but that has been solved with a replacement.
  • Camcorder – On loan from my sister. Will have some good videos to come
  • Photocopies and photos of all of our important documents (insurance/bank/Visa papers) – I used to scan these in the past, but found that I can get the same quality with a digital photo.
  • Lonely planet on a shoestring + 2 fiction books to read/trade.
  • Swiss army knife.
  • Adapters – I left the convertor at home since most of our electronics didn’t need it and we were able to save about a point.
  • ~10 Cliff/energy bars. Although I’m a pretty adventurous eater, there have been times when hot weather travel has left me with no appetite which is when these come in handy. After they run out, my go-to local equivalent will be vanilla wafers.
  • Bungee cords/Carabineers – don’t know when these will come handy, but I know they will.
  • iPhone – the contract may be cancelled, but hopefully this sucker will still work wonders on wifi
  • Cable Splitter – so we can both listen to an ipod/watch a movie on the same device.
  • Inflatable Travel pillow – Last minute impulse purchase, we’ll see if it’s a keeper.
  • 2 sheets/pillow cases – You can always buy a Sleeping bag liner at REI for 40 bucks, or take an old sheet. I went with the second route.
  • Light summer sleeping bags – We might regret this, but they were cheap, weigh 1 pound each, and can be thrown away after we hit the mountain in Malaysia.
  • Sunscreen/Bug Spray/Dramamine/Moleskin.
  • Shamwow as towels – I’ve hated travel towels in the past so we’ve substituted Shamwow’s which cost account a fifth of the price and seem to actually work better in my test run
  • Extra passport photos for the ongoing visas.
  • A headlamp – way smaller and more practical than flashlights, and good for night and early morning hikes

Expect an update in a few months to see which items we forgot and which ones we’ve thrown away. Check our progress around the world a our blog t Nomads in Asia.

Best Five Day Trips in Vancouver, British Columbia

1. Stanley Park
Located just off the main downtown core, this 1000 acre park is one of the finest in the world. Encompassing a variety of gardens, animals, activities and spectacular ocean views, Stanley Park has something for everyone. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely few hours playing pitch and putt, spend a few hours at Vancouver’s Aquarium, observe wildlife such as raccoons, beavers, ducks swans and turtles in Lost Lagoon, inhale fragrant blooms at the Ted ad Mary Grieg Rhododendron Garden and the Stanley Park Rose Pavilion or travel the 9km seawall by bike or foot taking in beautiful ocean vistas or unearthing tiny crabs and looking at Starfish.

2. University of British Columbia Campus
This stunning Vancouver campus is located on Point Grey, separated from the suburbs by the massive Pacific Spirit Regional Park. The UBC Campus offers a variety of educational and beautiful pursuits – visit the world renowned Museum of Anthropology to learn about local native art or venture into the outdoors and enjoy the UBC Botanical Gardens and the Nitobe Gardens – one of the finest Japanese Style Gardens in North America. Other hidden gems can be located around the entire campus!

3. North Vancouver – Capilano Rd.
Starting at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, this roadway leads straight to Grouse Mountain which overlooks the West Coast. Visitors can cross the swinging suspension bridge and check out the dozens of activities including the treetops adventure. Further upstream is Capilano Regional Park with its fish hatcheries, trails and access to Cleveland Dam. Finally, Grouse Mountain, a destination throughout the year offers shows and animals in the warmer months and spectacular skiing during the winter. Don’t forget to try the famous 2km Grouse Grind Trail which goes to the mountain top!

4. Sea to Sky Highway
One of the most beautiful stretches of road in British Columbia, the Sea to Sky highway begins in West Vancouver winding along Howe Sound with views of the ocean inlets, ferries and mountains. There are many interesting stops along this picturesque route – the BC Museum of Mining offers visitors a chance to explore the old copper mines in Britannia Beach with tours, gold panning and the largest truck on display in the area. Several Provincial Parks including Stawamus Chief and Vancouver’s third highest falls, Shannon Falls are good picnic and hiking areas and one of the best lookouts in the area, Tantalus View Point with its stunning views of the snow capped mountain ranges. This two hour trip ends at Whistler.

5. Whistler
A destination for all seasons, Whistler is known best for its large ski terrain, beautiful mountains and warm hospitality. This ski resort town is a year long attraction with access up the mountains to hike, climb, mountain bike – and in the winter months, ski and snowboard. Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains are the two main attractions encompassing over 1,800 acres of trails for visitors to enjoy. The newest addition to the region, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola holds the distinction of being the longest unsupported span in the world. With summer around the corner – enjoying the beautiful parks, observing the wildlife and enjoying the panoramic views of the Cascade mountains makes Whistler an ideal day trip!